Bulls Star Lonzo Ball Posts Video Showing Off Major Progress [Watch]

Lonzo Ball, Chicago Bulls

Getty Lonzo Ball #2 of the Chicago Bulls looks on from the bench.

The season has not gone as the Chicago Bulls planned. They are 19-23 and barely clinging onto the 10-seed in a muddled Eastern Conference. They are both still and contention and on the brink of being a bottom-feeding bunch.

One big reason for that has been the continued absence of Lonzo Ball who has been sidelined since last January following surgeries to repair a torn meniscus and remove loose cartilage.

But the Bulls might have just gotten the big break they have been waiting for.

Ball – four months removed from his second surgery in eight months and third procedure on the knee in his NBA career – posted a video of himself on Friday — one day short of the anniversary of his last game — getting in some work at the Bulls facilities. He has been seen in videos from beat writers in recent weeks but this video was much different.

Lonzo Ball Dunks in Instagram Video

“He who cannot endure the bad, will not live to see the good” is an old proverb purported to have Greek and/or Yiddish origins. It was also the poignant choice for a caption by the Bulls’ injured star for his post which included several other workout clips.

Previous videos have shown Ball practicing stationary shots during or after practice or shoot around.

He has not played since a 138-96 loss to the Golden State Warriors last season.

Ball detailed his painful rehabilitation during media day saying he was unable to even walk up a flight of stairs at that point and could not put any stress on the knee beyond a certain degree of bend. It was a harrowing recount cemented by his father LaVar Ball’s revelation that the loose cartilage from the previous procedures caused nerve issues in his son’s knee.

Getting Closer and Closer

More recently, head coach Billy Donovan spoke on Ball’s progress but added that, while the 25-year-old continues to get up shots, he had not progressed to running without pain. K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago reported something similar on January 11.

“He is doing stationary shooting and some light jump shooting,” Johnson said on the ‘HoopsHype Podcast’. “He’s done some light running and a lot of stuff on the anti-gravity treadmill.”

Johnson echoed Donovan that Ball had not yet progressed enough to run or cut – two key functions in basketball – to this point.

Ball also recently spoke on the situation while at a local charity event and, understandably given what he has gone through compared to where he is today, was cautiously optimistic in his self-assessment.

“I’m finally seeing some improvement, which is nice to see,” Ball said, per Rob Schaefer. “It’s definitely positive light at the end of the tunnel.”

Initially given a 6-to-8-week timeline, Ball is at serious risk of not suiting up at all this season. That uncertainty has played a big role in the Bulls’ moves dating back to last year’s trade deadline. Donovan has openly said he is operating under the assumption that Ball won’t return but this has to be as encouraging of a development as they have had in nearly 12 full months.

Life Without Lonzo Ball

The Bulls have been in a steady decline since Ball’s injury. There have been other factors along the way including into this season but Ball’s presence might be the most important factor in making what the Bulls want to do work.

Chicago has gone 38-46 since Ball went down with identical 19-23 records to this point in the season — ahead of their second meeting with the Oklahoma City Thunder — and to finish out the 2021-22 campaign. They have been inconsistent on both ends of the floor most notably in their perimeter defense and three-point shooting neither of which they ever had in spades.

Ball shot over 42% from beyond the arc last season and formed one of the most formidable defensive backcourts in the league alongside teammate Alex Caruso.

If the Bulls can hold on a little longer, there may be light at the end of the tunnel for them.